QwaQwa residents cannot benefit from Sterkfontein Dam

Gushing as these Sterkfontein dam waters may seem, they are only for a select few. Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/ Cornel van Heerden

The spokesperson for the national Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Sputnik Ratau, says the ongoing water crisis at Phuthaditjhaba is not as simple as taking water from the Sterkfontein Dam and giving it to nearby drought afflicted communities.

Ratau said this in response to an outcry by community members in Phuthaditjhaba who were pained earlier on this month when the Sterkfontein Dam released some water to the Vaal Dam for Gauteng residents, even though Qwaqwa is closer and needs the water relief more.

Ratau also says communities need to consider factors such as why certain dams are built before demanding water from municipalities – as in the case of Sterkfontein Dam.

Photographer and videographer from Matebeleng, (QwaQwa) Tankiso Tank Khumalo, has made a short documentary about the water situation in QwaQwa. Khumalo says many people living in those areas are uneducated and rely on the government to educate them on such matters- which government is not doing enough of.

Khumalo adds that it would be better if the provincial government in the area worked out viable solutions to combat water shortages in the area before the situation escalates to violence.

QwaQwa has been without water since October 2015 and citizens rely mainly on water tankers organised by the municipality for their daily water needs.

Pulane Choane/BloemfonteinCourant